Last Updated on 2021/11/24
Child Slavery at the Floristella Grottacalda mines in Sicily.
The Caruso was a kid aged 8 to 14 years, assigned to carry on shoulder excavated material in bags of 20/30 kg or baskets (stirraturi) of 15/20 kg and working for 8-10 hour shifts.
The word Carusu in Sicilian means “boy” and is derived from the Latin word carus, “dear“.
During XIX century through the early 1900s the word carusu was used to denote a “mine-boy”, a labourer in a sulfur who worked next to a picuneri or pick-man and carried raw ore from deep in the mine to the surface.
These carusi generally worked in near-slavery, often given up by foundling homes or even by their own families for a succursu di murti (death benefit), which effectively made them the property of either the picuneri or of the owners of the mines. [Wikipedia]
Read CHILD LABOUR AND THE SULPHUR MINES from “The Man Farthest Down: A Record of Observation and Study in Europe”, 1912, written by Washington, Booker T.
Floristella mines, 1905.
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